I've taken the 2011 NBA draft far too seriously. Especially since I'm not even employed by the team. It becomes less acceptable still when considering how down NBA front offices are on this particular crop of players.
To make up for my sweaty panic over the Washington Wizards' three selections, I'd like to have some fun with what is no-doubt a deathly serious draft for the future of the team.
Here are a couple trades that would really shake things up—and I'm not so sure they wouldn't improve the roster to boot.
JaVale McGee for Minnesota's No. 2 Pick
Effectively this is McGee for Derrick Williams. While we all love JaVale's athleticism and highlight reel dunks and blocks, lets face it: He also leads the league in ulcer-inducing brain farts. His defense is merely average despite his immense physical advantages, which explains the DC area's skyrocketing consumption of Maalox and Ibuprofen during the basketball season.
Reportedly this offer was actually on the table, so it may still be an option—though some reports have the Timberwolves also asking for the No. 6 pick, which is ludicrous and makes conversations a non-starter.
Williams is the best SF in the draft and would have gotten consideration at No. 1 even if all the other top prospects had declared. He's athletic and while his size is not ideal for either forward spot he will be able to eat up minutes at both positions.
While I've advocated waiting until next year to draft a swingman, Williams is a solid enough prospect to address that position long-term and ads a great distance shooter to a team that wasn't efficient on offense last season.
Wizards' No. 6 and No. 34 for Cleveland's No. 4 Pick
Effectively this is Jan Vesely and a second-round "upside" pick for Enes Kanter. Kanter can play PF and C, so he would be the odds-on favorite to take McGee's minutes come the start of next season (assuming the previous trade, and whenever that ends up being). This is probably an immediate upgrade on offense while a bit of a downgrade defensively at center.
The original offer from the Cavaliers required pick No. 18 instead of 34. But Cleveland is known to be high on Jonas Valanciunas (perhaps even higher than they are on Kanter, though he won't play in the NBA for another season), who would still be available at six.
Would they take the second-rounder as a pittance for swapping Euro big men? I don't see why not, with players like Josh Selby and JaJuan Johnson potentially available in the second round.
Wizards' No. 18 and Yi Jianlian's expiring contract (QO) for Memphis' O.J. Mayo
Memphis needs cap space if they hope to sign Marc Gasol long term. While they have recently been shooting down offers for the USC product, the fact is they need to shed his salary--otherwise it will have to be Gay's (or Randolph's, or Gasol's). They have a glut of wing players, and they had great success starting Tony Allen at the two guard in the playoffs, so they can use the 18th pick to address other needs.
This would be great value for the former No. 3 pick, costing the Wizards only the Atlanta pick—where we were looking at projects like Markieff Morris, Jeremy Tyler and Marshon Brooks.
Mayo is another proven 20 ppg scorer and could round out a great lineup of swingmen for the team. He's also a good three-point shooter, which was one of the team's major weaknesses last season, and he rebounds and distributes the ball well for an off-guard.
Wizards' Kevin Seraphin for Boston's No. 25 Pick
The Celts want to get out of the draft altogether, and they probably would have taken a front line guy who can rebound, which is all we've seen from Seraphin. As it is, they would be getting a higher draft pick from the previous year's proceedings in the swap.
Seraphin is young and tough, and while I like him on the team I don't think he has the upside of another guy I think the Wizards could get with this pick: Jeremy Tyler. The former top prospect should be available around then (Chad Ford has him slipping into the second round, though I doubt he makes it that far).
He just LOOKS like an NBA player, and you can't teach size and athleticism, so the Wizards have some control over what he needs most.
Washington Wizards Projected Roster Post-2011 NBA Draft
PG - Wall, Crawford
SG - Young, Mayo, Jeffers
SF - Williams, Lewis, Owens
PF - Blatche, Booker
C - Kanter, Tyler, N'Diaye